Deakin University and Wuhan Iron and Steel explore future together

25 August 2010

The Research and Development Centre of Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Corporation (WISCO) and Deakin University formalised their nascent relationship with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

As China’s top three steel company, and the seventh largest steel-producing company business in the world WISCO aims to develop its business by placing more focus on science and technology innovation.

The R&D Centre is ranked sixth out of 575 China state recognised enterprise technical centres and in 2009 won the “State-Recognized Enterprise Technical Centre Achievement Award”.

Director of Deakin’s Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (ITRI) and ARC Laureate Fellow, Professor Peter Hodgson, who is also an expert on metal processing, said the visit and signing brought together two dynamic forces – a major Chinese steel company with a high rate of technical development and Australian research expertise, particularly in steel processing, from ITRI.

“These are very early days, with both organisations exploring the breadth and scope of our future collaboration,” he stressed.

“It is expected that collaborative research projects in a range of areas related to new steel product and process developments will follow from this visit.

“Deakin is already conducting leading edge research on advanced high strength steels for the automotive industry and at a fundamental level are examining the development of novel steel properties through manipulation in structure at the atomic level.

“These and other areas are of interest to WISCO as they aim to enhance the range of steels they produce.”

Professor Hodgson said the visit by the delegation and the MOU signing were an exciting step for research in Australia.

It follows visits to China by Professor Hodgson and his colleagues Professor Xungai Wang and Associate Professor Lingxue Kong.

“It will be a valuable opportunity to showcase our research and technology and the Geelong region to a major international player,” Professor Hodgson said.

The delegation will include:

–Professor Jibin Liu (刘吉斌所长), Director, Steel Product Institute, WISCO Research and Development Centre
–Prof Yinping Hu (胡吟萍主任), Director, Development Department, Automotive Product Institute, WISCO Research and Development Centre
–Dr Lixin Wu (吴立新主任), Director, Metallurgy Department, Measurement and Test Institute, WISCO Research and Development Centre

Professor Jibin Liu, an expert on steel product development and welding research, spoke about WISCO’s current R&D focus and their recent work.

“The R&D Centre of WISCO has successfully created a large number of up-market and famous brand products - silicon steel, automotive steel, high-performance structural steel, boutique long products, etc. that are widely used in China national key projects,” he said.

“In order to support WISCO developing into a global enterprise, the R&D Centre is pursuing opportunities to work with outstanding research organisations in the world.

“During this visit, it is confirmed that Deakin University and the R&D Centre of WISCO have a common interest in undertaking fundamental and applied research on metal (steel) forming and processing.

“Professor Hodgson is a leading expert in the field of steel processing, his research in the 1990s on ultrafine ferrite left a deep impression on me.

“We now know more detail about Peter’s research, the development of new alloys, and the downstream ferrous and non-ferrous manufacturing processes associated with the automotive industry.

"There are spaces for us to co-work.”

Professor Hodgson said the two organisations hoped to develop research collaborations including the appointment of key research scientists as well as exploring the possibilities of joint and dedicated research laboratories.

News facts
  • Deakin expertise to help WISCO, China’s top three steel company, and seventh largest steel-producing company in the world, develop its business
  • MOU signing and visit by WISCO delegation is an exciting step for research in Australia
  • Valuable opportunity to showcase research and technology and the Geelong region to a major international player

Media contact

Sandra Kingston
Deakin Media Relations
0422 005 485

Professor Hodgson and Professor Liu

Director of ITRI Professor Peter Hodgson and
Professor Liu during the signing of the MOU.

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

31st August 2010